Ave Grabs Muscle Milk SCCA Trans-Am Pole At Watkins Glen

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (July 12, 2009) -- Tony Ave, of Maiden, N.C., earned his fourth Muscle Milk SCCA Trans-Am Series pole of the season this morning, in preparation for this afternoon's Round Six race at Watkins Glen International. Rookie Jim Goughary Jr., of Jupiter, Fla., will start second.

Piloting the No. 10 McMahon Group/Pro-Motor Chevrolet Corvette, Ave only turned two laps during the 20-minute qualifying session. He recorded his pole-winning time of 1:49.154 (112.135 mph) on his second circuit around the 11-turn, 3.4-mile road course. However, on Ave's third lap, the fuel pump drive broke on his Corvette disabling the machine for the rest of the session. Due to the broken oil pump, Ave's team will change the engine prior to the race start.

"I got to the straight and the oil pump drive broke," Ave said. "I am pretty bummed to be honest with you. Now, we'll change the engine. It [the spare engine] has some miles on it, but we've run well with it. It's what we've got, so it's going in there. I hope it's strong enough to win."

With a time of 1:49.445 (111.837 mph), Goughary will start on the outside pole for the second time this season in his No. 72 Luna Sueno Tequila Chevrolet Corvette. Today, Goughary will make his third Trans-Am start of the season after missing the last two races at Mid-Ohio and Portland.

Simon Gregg, of Ponte Verda Beach, Fla., will start third in the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette after turning a time of 1:50.219 (111.051 mph). This is Gregg's best-ever starting position in Trans-Am. The longtime series veteran's previous best qualifying position was fifth, which he set last month in Portland.

Rookie RJ Lopez, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, will roll off the grid fourth in his No. 06 WabashPower.com/Mobil 1/Goodyear Chevrolet Corvette. He turned a qualifying time of 1:50.235 (111.035 mph).

If Tomy Drissi, of Los Angeles, hopes to earn back-to-back victories this weekend, he will have to earn it. The Trans-Am Series point leader will start from the inside of row three in the No. 5 James Cameron's Avatar Jaguar XKR. In five races this season, Drissi has one win, three podiums and five top-five finishes.

John Schaller, of Fort Myers, Fla., Dan Ramoutarsingh, of La Romain, Trinidad, Amy Ruman, of Kent, Ohio, Edison Lluch Sr., of Lajas, Puerto Rico, and Blaise Csida, of Stouffville, Ontario will start sixth through 10th, respectively.

Round Six is set to go green at 4 p.m. (EDT) later today. For the latest Trans-Am news and results, visit www.sccatrans-am.com.

-credit: scca pro racing